How do I germinate seeds in the system?

We normally recommend germinating seeds in grow plugs outside of the system, this is due to the risk of the plug becoming waterlogged in the system, before the roots of the plant have the chance to access the oxygenated water of the reservoir.

The best way to do this is to place the plug on/in a small container and keep it damp whist the seedling starts to grow. If the plant needs darkness to germinate, then this is best done with a covering over the plug. Once the roots have reached the edge of the plug, then the plug and plant should be placed in the net pot in the system. 

With care, seeds can be germinated in the system. To do this the user must ensure that only the very bottom of the plug is touching the water. The plug is able to suck up as much water as the plant will need. If the plug is too deeply submerged in the water, the seed/seedling will drown.

My plants are getting top-heavy and starting to fall forwards, what do I do?

As plants grow in the system they will increasingly become top-heavy, but don't worry, there is a simple fix. Simply use some thin wire to attach the plant to the coconut fibre back panel.

The pump is making a noise, how do I stop it?

There are a few different reasons that the pump may be making a noise. If it is a higher-pitched sound, it is likely that this is due to the air coming out of the air stone and hitting something. Make sure the reservoir has plenty of water in it, and then gently adjust the pipe, pulling it gently to move the air stone. If that still doesn't work, have a quick look to check that the filter foam you wrapped around the air stone is still there.

If the noise is a loud, lower-frequency sound, it is likely that the pump itself is causing vibration. The elastic strip behind it should prevent this, so make sure that that is in place, and that the pump is attached to the foam on the back of the reservoir, and is not in contact with any other materials (including the wall).

If the sound of the pump under normal operating is still too loud for you, then it is absolutely fine to turn it off for long periods of time when you are there, and only have it on when you are out. The purpose of the pump is to oxygenate the water, which is a process by which oxygen is dissolved into the water. The plants are not directly interacting with the air bubbles. The water will slowly lose its oxygen over several hours, and this will not harm the plant as long as oxygenation begins again within a few hours. For reference, some potential "pump on" times could be:

In a bedroom where you are out most the day but want the pump off when you are in bed: 8:30 - 19:00

In an office where you are working during the day but aren't there at night: 17:00 - 9:00 

Bear in mind that the impacts of switching off the pump for extended periods (e.g more than a day or two) may be the following; slowed plant growth (oxygen is required for the uptake of nutrients), and risk of anearobic microbes growing (these create a bad smell).

There is green staining in my reservoir, what can I do about it?

The green stain you are seeing is a result of algal growth. Algae is a plant, just like the plants you are growing in the system yourself, just a much smaller version. They are not harmful, and it's perfectly fine to leave them there if you don't mind the green colour, or can conceal it with leaves from your growing plants.

However, if you want to get rid of them, the first thing to do is make sure that any of the spaces in the float which are not being used for plants are completely covered. Just like other plants, algae need light to grow, so reducing the light hitting the water is important.

You can remove the algae by mixing in a small amount of a very diluted bleach solution. Around 3ml of a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution should do the trick. If you are making this solution yourself, take care when handling the bleach!

There are products designed specifically for this task such as Hydroguard, and also some 'home remedies' which are sometimes suggested, such as grapefruit seed extract.

Some aquarium users use UVC lamps to remove algae from their water. This should not be done in our systems due to the risk of the UVC damaging the plastic of the reservoir.

It's something else...

Then please drop an email to help@my-green-window.com , we'll be happy to give you guidance!